Tuesday, August 3, 2021

What athleticwear designed through the lens of a fashion house looks like


Founded in 2008 by best friends Adrian Norris and Edwina Forest, Aje is a contemporary Australian fashion brand known for it’s tough femininity and effortless cool.

But earlier this month, the brand did something very different, releasing it’s first foray into athleticwear, AJE ATHLETICA, with the goal of being the most sustainable collection to date using 70 per cent consciously-sourced materials.

We sat down with to find out how a designer brand blends the functionalities of working out and going out effectively, why wellbeing is at the heart of their athleisurewear collection and why they made the game-changing and inclusive decision to have every piece modelled on women of multiple different sizes on their shoppable website.

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Athleisurewear is a trend that has really been elevated and universally embraced during COVID, do you think it is here to stay? Why?

Adrian: Athleisure was already a mainstay increasingly worn in our leisure time to bridge the gap between home, weekend casual and exercise. The last 12-months have blurred the lines of our modern lives even further – from working from home, to reflecting and appreciating the time we spend outdoors.. It was clear that time spent moving or simply being in nature led to an increased feeling of wellbeing. We wanted to speak to this, as we experienced a real consumer-need for function, comfort, style and versatility for seasons to come.

Edwina and I saw AJE ATHLETICA as our opportunity to create elevated athleticwear designed through the lens of a fashion house; engineered with ethical and fit-for-purpose design, to complement all fitness and lifestyle needs.

How can athlesiurewear blend the functionalities of working out and going out most effectively together?

Edwina: AJE ATHLETICA is a performance product so we wanted to ensure it blended both fashion and fitness touchpoints from running, yoga and spin to weight-training and beyond, but with fashion elements that can take you to your off-duty, day-to-day life. We felt activewear can be stylish as well as supportive.

AJE ATHLETICA infuses a spectrum of performance-based considerations into each style, and considers sustainability at each step. All fabrications, for example, have a four-way technical stretch and encompass 70% consciously sourced materials.

We love the functionality of your website in that you can see each piece modelled on different sized women including 8, 12 and 16. How did the idea for this come about? Why was it important to the brand?

Adrian: The vision for the first AJE ATHLETICA capsule was to offer Australian sizing 4 to 18. Through our e-commerce platform, it’s important to us to showcase the functionality, design and versatility across each style in a variety of sizes, allowing the customer to view in their preferred format. We are always looking for ways to innovate and improve the digital experience, tailored to our customer needs and wants.

Wellbeing and wellness is so important to consumers these days, how does the capsule collection embody this?

Adrian: Wellbeing is firmly at the core of the AJE ATHLETICA brand and we believe every individual’s approach to wellness is their own, while recognising that the balance between humanity and planet Earth is the ultimate wellness. From the high-intensity, technical elements or low-intensity, off-duty element while providing comfort, there is a level of detail that has been considered within each piece, always featuring an Aje ‘twist’.

What is your favourite piece from the collection and why?

Edwina: Transitioning into the colder season, it’s all about layering. A versatile way to merge style and performance, is by the addition of our AJE ATHLETICA Puffer Jacket (available in black, white, dusty rose and khaki) paired back with a crop and bottoms of your choice to suit any occasion whether it be logo-adorned sweats, leggings or bike shorts. It’s a hybrid piece that you can perform in outdoors, as well as indoors or even off duty, and is made from 100% recycled fabrications.

Are the rumours true that we can look forward to another capsule collection soon?! If so, any hints on when and what this new collection will entail?

Edwina: The rumours are true! In late September, AJE ATHLETICA will be launching a second capsule collection which explores new silhouettes and technical fabrications fit-for-purpose including neoprene, knit and fleece across windbreakers, sport bras, leggings and sweats along with cap, sock and bag accessories. This collection is presented in a timeless palette, as ever inspired by the Australian landscape.

** For fans of the brand, Aje is also launching their Spring 21 collection entitled ‘Reimagination’ – an exploration of reflection and re-emergence – on Wednesday, 30 June 2021.

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